BCM Standards get serious boost from Homeland Security

The US Department of Homeland Security has announced the endorsed standards for its Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program (PS-Prep).  This marks the achievement of one the key recommendations of the 9/11 commission which targeted improving private sector preparedness for natural disasters and civil emergencies.  It's taken nearly 8 years to arrive, but finally the recommendation has been implemented.

The DHS work on the adopting Business Continuity and Preparedness standards has included significant involvement and consultation from within the Public and Private sector, as well as the Standards Bodies and this is reflected in their recommendations.   

The most established Standard, BS 25999 from the British Standards Institution (BSI) has been endorsed along with its US 'cousin' from ASIS that has been developed through joint working party comprising representatives from the BSI and the BCM/01 committee. The synergies between the two standards are clear and enable international considerations and consistency to be established far more easily for organisations that operate globally. In addition, NFPA 1600:2007 as been accepted.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano said "Private organisations across the country—from businesses to universities to non-profit organisations—have a vital role to play in bolstering our disaster preparedness and response capabilities. These new standards will provide our private sector partners with the tools they need to enhance the readiness and resiliency of our nation."

For more Details on the standards please follow the links below

 ASIS SPC.1-2009 Organizational Resilience: Security Preparedness, and Continuity Management System. – the American Society for Industrial Security is making ASIS SPC 1-2009 available for inspection, downloading, and printing at no cost.

British Standard 25999-2:2007 Business Continuity Management – the British Standards Institution is making BS25999 available for inspection, downloading, and printing for a nominal charge.

National Fire Protection Association 1600:2007/2010 Standard on Disaster / Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs – the National Fire Protection Association is making NFPA 1600 available for inspection, downloading, and printing at no cost.

PS-Prep is a partnership between DHS and the private sector that enables private entities to receive emergency preparedness certification from a DHS accreditation system created in coordination with the private sector.

Comments may be submitted to http://www.regulations.gov or FEMA-POLICY@dhs.gov, in Docket ID FEMA-2008-0017.

Continuity Forum Comment 

The level of connection between the need to prepare and and government and community to have plans in place is further consolidated through Secretary Napolitano's initiative.  Through the associated DHS certification system for the PS-Prep programme considerable further pressure can be applied on organisations to develop effective plans that meet industry standards. 

It should be seen as a major success that BS25999, a British Standard, is formally endorsed.  As the most mature of the standards, this step ensures that organisations can be confident not just in their planning on achieving BS25999, but now that the commercial value of their investment is recognised on an even larger international stage.

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